by Oliver Evans
What’s your favourite route for training on the island?
Halle March, Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island
My favourite ride, especially when I’m fit and it’s hot and dry outside, is the Oak Bay group ride. The weekly ride takes riders along a counterclockwise lap of the peninsula. We meet every Sunday just before 9 am behind the shop and roll at a ‘neutral’ pace to Sidney. In Sidney we take a quick break, then split into A, B and C groups. The A’s race along Land’s End road, then over Panorama, a short but aggressive climb and we finish with a sprint on Interurban. Rumour has it that there was once a finish line spray-painted across the road.
During the summer a select few, including local legends A-Russ and Eugene (two very strong riders), will usually add a loop of Munn Road and Ross Durrance, before finishing up with a lap of the waterfront. Munn and Ross add quite a bit of climbing, and we always keep the intensity even after the sprint finish.
I attribute the fitness I achieved this past season largely to my participation in the Oak Bay rides, and the riders such as A-Russ and Eugene who pushed me week after week.
Here’s a link to one of my many Oak Bay ride Strava files including Munn and Ross Durrance.
Have you ever tried and would you recommend a Peloton bike purchase?
To me, spin bikes are for spin studios. If you’re looking for a quality indoor training set-up in your house, I would highly encourage putting the bike you use outside on a trainer or on rollers, and getting a subscription to Zwift. This is the most cost-effective, versatile, and personalizable way to train at home.
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How did you first get into racing?
Terry Otto, Tilsonburg, Ont.
To me riding and racing have always gone hand in hand. That’s not to say that you can’t go for a ride without racing, but especially in our youth, there’s naturally a competitive instinct to go faster than your friends or even yourself. Every ride on my crappy Supercycle as a kid had an element of racing to it, whether I wanted to beat a car accross an intersection when the light turned green, or race my friends to and through Omands Creek.
I’ve always ridden (and raced), but it wasn’t until after I moved to Winnipeg and joined the Wolseley Wheels Kids of Mud Club that I learned of the sport of bike racing. Until then, you just raced because you could. Coming to the realization that I could race against real competitors on a designated course for an actual prize was exciting!
I started with a handful of mountain bike races around Manitoba and loved it. Once I discovered ‘cross and road though, there was no going back. I joined team Manitoba at 13 and had the opportunity to race on the road that year.
I don’t think anything clicked. I think my love for riding evolved through multiple discoveries of racing and different disciplines. A passion grew through experience. I always raced. I’ve always been into racing. I never ‘got into it’ per se. I think it’s always been a part of me. It got into me.